More than $200,000 in pre-development loans have been garnered by Kent Affordable Housing Inc. for work toward the restoration and reconstruction of an 1828 house at 15 Maple Street Extension into five apartments for low-income residents.

The site is to be called Stuart Farms Apartments.

"Luck was with us to acquire the property," said KAH president Virginia Bush-Suttman, who noted the property is being bought though a foreclosure sale.

"We haven't had a hammer to the building yet but we have done an enormous amount in the way of testing and plans," she said.

Last year, the Kent Affordable Housing board began work to renovate the house.

Commitments are now in place from the state Department of Economic and Community Development and from Local Initiatives Support Corporation -- a nationwide corporation that helps with economic development -- for the predevelopment loans.

These loans will be paid off with anticipated state grants, Mrs. Bush-Suttman said.

The loans will be used to acquire the property, initial inspections and surveys, site work and architectural designs. The closing on the purchase of the property is expected to occur next week.

The project's architect, Stephen Lasar, is known for environmentally friendly design and the Housing Authority plans to find contractors who follow the same principles.

"We'll probably do some rebuilding," Mrs. Bush-Suttman said, "but we're eager to keep the 1828 house in tact as much as possible. After all, Andrew Jackson had just been elected president when it was built."

The chestnut post and beam framing still stands strong, but some of the additions to the building are of a later date and maintenance has been neglected for decades, she noted.

The Housing Authority wants to provide Energy Star appliances, flagstone patios and a low-maintenace permeable driveway. That cost may require more than anticipated state grants will cover and the Housing Authority hopes the residents of Kent will lend their support.

The Supporting Friends Association of Stuart Farms Apartments has been established and a fundraiser is set Nov. 6 called "The Night of a Thousand Pies."

Tax deductible contributions to the Supporting Friends Association of SFA may be sent by check payable Kent Affordable Housing/SFA and sent to P.O. Box 265, Kent, CT 06757.

A public hearing before the Kent Planning and Zoning Commission on a special permit application for the project will be July 8 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.